New York – Climate anxiety is prevalent, especially among younger generations, as climate change and extreme weather events increase.
CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock spoke with an expert on climate anxiety and the young woman who managed her by taking action.
“It is this feeling that springs up,” said Sophia Asag. “Anxiety takes over your body.”
Assab says climate anxiety began to affect her when she attended a class called “Future of the Earth/Global Warming” in her senior year of high school. In her class, she considered what life would be like in 2050, which made her ask big questions.
“What am I doing? Is there a future? ?” Assab said.
Dr. Jamie Howard, clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, said:
“Is there an age group where this is most prevalent?” Murdoch asked.
“We’re seeing a lot of climate-focused anxiety in school-age and adolescent kids,” Howard said.
According to Howard, climate anxiety has become more prevalent over the past decade and is most commonly seen in people with generalized anxiety disorder (a chronic worry about everyday things).
“Children with generalized anxiety disorder are highly sensitive to their surroundings and sensitive and sensitive to media and social media news,” says Howard.
According to the Media and Climate Change Observatory at the University of Colorado Boulder, the number of TV news stories about climate change or global warming increased by 85% from 2000 to 2021. Given this data from Climate Central, it makes sense given this data on acceleration of a billion. Dollar Catastrophe: In 2000 there were about 60 days between them. 2021 years, 18 days to go.
Additionally, a climate change study published in The Lancet in 2021 found that “climate anxiety and distress were correlated with perceptions of government mishandling and associated feelings of betrayal.” This conclusion is based on responses from her 10,000 young people around the world, including his 1,000 from the United States.
The research also revealed:
- 59% very or very worried
- 84% worried to some extent
- More than 45% shared their feelings about climate change, negatively impacting their daily lives and functioning.
“They really internalize it and they’re pretty scared about it,” Howard said.
What should you do if your child suffers from climate anxiety?
“I want my kids to take action,” Howard said. He called it one of the most useful solutions – do something to reduce the perceived threat.
In November, environmental activist Greta Thunberg appeared on the BBC’s ‘The One Show’ to say that taking action has had an impact.
“For me, it helped me do something tangible. I started educating myself by reading it. I knew,” said Thunberg.
She started a school strike because of the climate. Connecting with her like-minded people also helped.
“Someone who feels just like you and shares the same values, because when you’re fighting together, there’s no limit to what you can achieve,” she said.
Assab shares that’s exactly how she managed her anxiety. In college, she co-founded her series Generation MAD, a webinar focused on climate conversations.
“Talk about this. Publish it,” said Assab.
Those conversations helped her heal. Today she works as an environmental, social and governance consultant.
“Knowing that I go to work every day and help out is very reassuring,” she said.
Keep an eye on your helpers and all progress, adds Howard. This brings hope for our collective future.